"Make Him From Them" - January 29, 2021

A place to discuss the weekly Wall Street Journal Crossword Puzzle Contest, starting every Thursday around 4:00 p.m. Eastern time. Please do not post any answers or hints before the contest deadline which is midnight Sunday Eastern time.
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hcbirker
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#381

Post by hcbirker »

Tony S wrote: Mon Feb 01, 2021 1:02 pm Count me among those who submitted USHER but wasn't exactly satisfied --- it seemed too obvious. I wondered if anyone flirted with CHER, one of the most famous one-named singers in crossword land; her moniker is 75% pronoun. Close, but no mug.
I submitted CHER. I saw the U, then US, then HE and SHE and saw HER and added the C. Seemed logical.
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BethA
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#382

Post by BethA »

Before hitting on the right answer, I had an idea that we might use the theme answers as clues, finding a proper name in the grid to match the pronoun. Like HEGOTGAME could be ELI manning. Then the first letters of the proper names could spell the answer. But couldn’t really connect any others too well.

For me, this one was really reminiscent of last October’s MMMM “Mind the Overlap”. The grid had lots of 3-letter words, and eventually saw that they had 2 letters in common. My worksheet for that one is attached.
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FKelly
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#383

Post by FKelly »

Wendy Walker wrote: Fri Jan 29, 2021 9:06 am
FKelly wrote: Fri Jan 29, 2021 12:54 am [

Kliban warned against this.
Image

Bon appetit.
I actually own that book!
As do I. We're such a bunch of literary sophisticates are we not!
Why, I even have some Kliban greeting cards with the verse and image posted by whimsy at #182
Image

and fond memories of Alexandria, a beautiful black cat who would request (actually, it was more of a demand) my assistance in hunting mice.

She would lead me to the location where she knew the mice were, triangulate their exact location with few quick movements of her ears and then point with her tail in the direction she wanted me to go to set up the ambush. She would then go in the opposite direction and I would mirror her movement so that we had the mice in between us. She would sit regally opposite me like the statue of an Egyptian cat I saw in the World Book Encyclopedia (That is how I came up with her name. I think she just called me "The Big Doofus Who Thinks He's a Cat").

She would give me the signal to start moving forward. I would move towards her in tiny steps a about an inch and a half at a time. When I would get within about three feet of the mice, they would all jump vertically about a foot in the air, their beady little eyes staring right at me. When they hit the ground, they would scatter in all different directions. One of them would invariably run close enough for her to pounce on it.

Alexandria would carefully pick it up in her mouth and carry them to a safe, flat location with no brush where she would toss it in the air with her paws and bat it around. She would pounce on the mouse again if it tried to run away.

After she was done playing with the mouse, she would pick it up in her mouth again and carry it to me and offer to let me play with it (cat etiquette, you know). I would decline her generous offer (wish now I would have accepted, in retrospect, if for nothing else but to humor her). I would bend over, pet her and tell her she was a very smart cat. She would let the mouse fall from her mouth and it would take off like a little rocket for the nearest patch of weeds.

Sometime later, I tried to see if she remembered our mouse hunting safari by imitating her pouncing on an imaginary mouse on all fours. She remembered!!! She responded by pouncing on her own imaginary mouse. I repeated my mouse pounce and she again responded with her own pounce. We did this several more times, so I think of this as our "Mouse Pounce Dance". We must have looked like idiots to anyone who happened to see us jumping around like that under the full moon (I don't anybody did though). She was a wonderful cat and I miss her.
MaineMarge
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#384

Post by MaineMarge »

Tony S wrote: Mon Feb 01, 2021 1:02 pm Count me among those who submitted USHER but wasn't exactly satisfied --- it seemed too obvious. I wondered if anyone flirted with CHER, one of the most famous one-named singers in crossword land; her moniker is 75% pronoun. Close, but no mug.
Yes, I toyed with Cher ( and Eminem), but couldn’t get anywhere with either. And I read the HIM in the title to confirm gender.
I wouldn’t know Usher if he ushered me to the front row to see his fabulous performance of Singin in the Rain. After I saw Usher had the pronouns fully covered, I googled all his recordings and the songs he had written for others, and found many grid entries ( like the above confirmation ) that are in his song and album titles.
Dissecting the themers later revealed Matt’s buildup to Usher.
Count me a fan, belatedly.
And a current Gaffney fan.
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C=64
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#385

Post by C=64 »

mitchel674 wrote: Mon Feb 01, 2021 12:40 pm
anaerobe wrote: Mon Feb 01, 2021 10:27 am OK, my first contest try, got it wrong. But licking my wounds and wondering if I can take advantage of the forum I just joined to get a little constructive criticism.

USHER is now obvious, I get it 100%. My answer was: BONO. You see folks: I got 'U2' in my head, then one-named singer ....see what I did there? So would you say 'oh yeah, you're wrong but I can kind of see how one might arrive at Bono';...or 'nope, hopelessly off the rails thinking like that'

Thank you in advance......
Welcome!

Can you explain how you arrived at BONO? I mean other than the fact the he is a one named singer (which would just be guessing).
My initial guess upon seeing the prompt, before starting the grid, was BONO. Then the first 2 theme answers had pronouns beginning with U... If this had been my first contest try, I probably would have done the same. But in my vast [8 months of] meta experience, I have learned that if there appear to be 5 theme answers, you'll need to use them all. Lick those wounds and get ready for this week! 🙂👍
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Janet
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#386

Post by Janet »

I got the right answer, but something must be wrong -- where is my mug!
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anaerobe
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#387

Post by anaerobe »

mitchel674 wrote: Mon Feb 01, 2021 12:40 pm
anaerobe wrote: Mon Feb 01, 2021 10:27 am OK, my first contest try, got it wrong. But licking my wounds and wondering if I can take advantage of the forum I just joined to get a little constructive criticism.

USHER is now obvious, I get it 100%. My answer was: BONO. You see folks: I got 'U2' in my head, then one-named singer ....see what I did there? So would you say 'oh yeah, you're wrong but I can kind of see how one might arrive at Bono';...or 'nope, hopelessly off the rails thinking like that'

Thank you in advance......
Welcome!

Can you explain how you arrived at BONO? I mean other than the fact the he is a one named singer (which would just be guessing).
Well, I was thinking....artists....bands....pronouns.....you as in U2. Voila, yet another example of thinking logically to the wrong conclusion.

Seems like writing out the answers and seeing them on paper is a common strategy.
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anaerobe
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#388

Post by anaerobe »

C=64 wrote: Mon Feb 01, 2021 3:11 pm
mitchel674 wrote: Mon Feb 01, 2021 12:40 pm
anaerobe wrote: Mon Feb 01, 2021 10:27 am OK, my first contest try, got it wrong. But licking my wounds and wondering if I can take advantage of the forum I just joined to get a little constructive criticism.

USHER is now obvious, I get it 100%. My answer was: BONO. You see folks: I got 'U2' in my head, then one-named singer ....see what I did there? So would you say 'oh yeah, you're wrong but I can kind of see how one might arrive at Bono';...or 'nope, hopelessly off the rails thinking like that'

Thank you in advance......
Welcome!

Can you explain how you arrived at BONO? I mean other than the fact the he is a one named singer (which would just be guessing).
My initial guess upon seeing the prompt, before starting the grid, was BONO. Then the first 2 theme answers had pronouns beginning with U... If this had been my first contest try, I probably would have done the same. But in my vast [8 months of] meta experience, I have learned that if there appear to be 5 theme answers, you'll need to use them all. Lick those wounds and get ready for this week! 🙂👍
Yeah ok. I'll remember they all have to fit. Thanks!
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anaerobe
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#389

Post by anaerobe »

DBMiller wrote: Mon Feb 01, 2021 11:04 am How I arrived at it:

1) We're looking for a singer, and there are five song related clues
2) Those five answers are symmetrical in the grid with the addition of the answer PRONOUN
3) Each of the five song titles contains a pronoun. Coincidence? I think not
4) As there were only five song related clues, and everything was nice and symmetrical, I felt no need to look at other pronouns in any other answers.
5) Laying out the pronouns, you get a nice little ladder that each contained the previous letter:

Code: Select all

U
US
 SHE
   HE
    HER
Usher seemed pretty obvious at that point.
Thanks. I noticed others also wrote out the clues...seems obvious now, but I'm going to try that this week.
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pookie
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#390

Post by pookie »

FKelly wrote: Mon Feb 01, 2021 2:43 pm
Wendy Walker wrote: Fri Jan 29, 2021 9:06 am
FKelly wrote: Fri Jan 29, 2021 12:54 am [

Kliban warned against this.
Image

Bon appetit.
I actually own that book!
As do I. We're such a bunch of literary sophisticates are we not!
Why, I even have some Kliban greeting cards with the verse and image posted by whimsy at #182
Image

and fond memories of Alexandria, a beautiful black cat who would request (actually, it was more of a demand) my assistance in hunting mice.

She would lead me to the location where she knew the mice were, triangulate their exact location with few quick movements of her ears and then point with her tail in the direction she wanted me to go to set up the ambush. She would then go in the opposite direction and I would mirror her movement so that we had the mice in between us. She would sit regally opposite me like the statue of an Egyptian cat I saw in the World Book Encyclopedia (That is how I came up with her name. I think she just called me "The Big Doofus Who Thinks He's a Cat").

She would give me the signal to start moving forward. I would move towards her in tiny steps a about an inch and a half at a time. When I would get within about three feet of the mice, they would all jump vertically about a foot in the air, their beady little eyes staring right at me. When they hit the ground, they would scatter in all different directions. One of them would invariably run close enough for her to pounce on it.

Alexandria would carefully pick it up in her mouth and carry them to a safe, flat location with no brush where she would toss it in the air with her paws and bat it around. She would pounce on the mouse again if it tried to run away.

After she was done playing with the mouse, she would pick it up in her mouth again and carry it to me and offer to let me play with it (cat etiquette, you know). I would decline her generous offer (wish now I would have accepted, in retrospect, if for nothing else but to humor her). I would bend over, pet her and tell her she was a very smart cat. She would let the mouse fall from her mouth and it would take off like a little rocket for the nearest patch of weeds.

Sometime later, I tried to see if she remembered our mouse hunting safari by imitating her pouncing on an imaginary mouse on all fours. She remembered!!! She responded by pouncing on her own imaginary mouse. I repeated my mouse pounce and she again responded with her own pounce. We did this several more times, so I think of this as our "Mouse Pounce Dance". We must have looked like idiots to anyone who happened to see us jumping around like that under the full moon (I don't anybody did though). She was a wonderful cat and I miss her.
How do you say "Pounces with Cats" in Lakota?
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LadyBird
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#391

Post by LadyBird »

Did you know that there are over 100 pronouns? I got caught up with various pronouns scattered throughout the grid. My rationale for not being a first-pager is that I learn so much chasing all those rabbits! (OK, but deep down I do really want to be a regular first-pager).
Mattbelc16
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#392

Post by Mattbelc16 »

Janet wrote: Mon Feb 01, 2021 3:41 pm I got the right answer, but something must be wrong -- where is my mug!
I know that feeling, Janet!
Notbitter
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#393

Post by Notbitter »

Mattbelc16 wrote: Mon Feb 01, 2021 5:50 pm
Janet wrote: Mon Feb 01, 2021 3:41 pm I got the right answer, but something must be wrong -- where is my mug!
I know that feeling, Janet!
I won the mug on the very first answer I ever submitted. At the time I thought they must just give away a bunch of mugs. Don’t hate me. Little did I know...
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sharkicicles
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#394

Post by sharkicicles »

BethA wrote: Mon Feb 01, 2021 2:41 pm Before hitting on the right answer, I had an idea that we might use the theme answers as clues, finding a proper name in the grid to match the pronoun. Like HEGOTGAME could be ELI manning. Then the first letters of the proper names could spell the answer. But couldn’t really connect any others too well.

For me, this one was really reminiscent of last October’s MMMM “Mind the Overlap”. The grid had lots of 3-letter words, and eventually saw that they had 2 letters in common. My worksheet for that one is attached.
AHA! I remarked earlier in the thread I knew that I had seen this mechanism before at some point last year.
cinemagical
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#395

Post by cinemagical »

Agh it was staring right at me and I still couldn't figure it out.

I went down *so* many rabbit holes, but I think my favorite was trying to make something of BAUERS being an anagram of BELARUS with an added 'L.' I was so certain that was the mechanism -- either finding other words that match this pattern (and the added letters spelling out the answer), or a sequence of anagrams from BELARUS down to AUS (and then 'US', maybe?), removing a letter each time (not sure what the next step would be from here though).

Need to remember to take a breath, use common sense, actually "see" whatever it is I'm looking at, and not overcomplicate things.
~ Adam 8-)
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sanmilton
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#396

Post by sanmilton »

sanmilton wrote: Thu Jan 28, 2021 5:44 pm I see that I'm not alone in feeling as if I have the answer but not being completely sold on it. I'll ponder a while longer before I submit, but first, I need to reprovision the larder and make myself a Thursday evening cocktail!
Just for Bob's record, I did submit the correct solution shortly after I posted this hedge, but even then, I was looking for a stronger confirmation of the answer than the overlapping of the pronouns. Not the first time I've been guilty of overthinking a problem.
Tony S
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#397

Post by Tony S »

Notbitter wrote: Mon Feb 01, 2021 7:33 pm
Mattbelc16 wrote: Mon Feb 01, 2021 5:50 pm
Janet wrote: Mon Feb 01, 2021 3:41 pm I got the right answer, but something must be wrong -- where is my mug!
I know that feeling, Janet!
I won the mug on the very first answer I ever submitted. At the time I thought they must just give away a bunch of mugs. Don’t hate me. Little did I know...
I don't hate you. I won the Financial Times Saturday prize contest the first time I entered back in 2019 --- and it was also the first time I ever completed that puzzle without resorting to references. My prize was a copy of Simon Winchester's The Meaning of Everything --- The Story of the Oxford English Dictionary. (It's a great book by the way.)
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LadyBird
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#398

Post by LadyBird »

Tony S wrote: Mon Feb 01, 2021 10:49 pm
Notbitter wrote: Mon Feb 01, 2021 7:33 pm
Mattbelc16 wrote: Mon Feb 01, 2021 5:50 pm

I know that feeling, Janet!
I won the mug on the very first answer I ever submitted. At the time I thought they must just give away a bunch of mugs. Don’t hate me. Little did I know...
I don't hate you. I won the Financial Times Saturday prize contest the first time I entered back in 2019 --- and it was also the first time I ever completed that puzzle without resorting to references. My prize was a copy of Simon Winchester's The Meaning of Everything --- The Story of the Oxford English Dictionary. (It's a great book by the way.)
Winchester also wrote The Madman and the Professor. Also about the OED--an excellent book as well.
EVJ
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#399

Post by EVJ »

Just saw the movie. Quite well done!
Sean Penn as The Madman is phenomenal.
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mheberlingx100
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#400

Post by mheberlingx100 »

Tony S wrote: Mon Feb 01, 2021 10:49 pm
Notbitter wrote: Mon Feb 01, 2021 7:33 pm
Mattbelc16 wrote: Mon Feb 01, 2021 5:50 pm

I know that feeling, Janet!
I won the mug on the very first answer I ever submitted. At the time I thought they must just give away a bunch of mugs. Don’t hate me. Little did I know...
I don't hate you. I won the Financial Times Saturday prize contest the first time I entered back in 2019 --- and it was also the first time I ever completed that puzzle without resorting to references. My prize was a copy of Simon Winchester's The Meaning of Everything --- The Story of the Oxford English Dictionary. (It's a great book by the way.)
I have been working on winning a mug for 3 years and still no success. I have had to cup my hands and drink my coffee like that. That’s painful enough, but murder when I try to make Irish coffee - so sticky! I’m hopeful of winning soon so I can drink my coffee in the morning burn-free and with dignity.
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